A major stumbling block, for many
people considering a commitment to Christianity, is the inability to
accept Jesus as God himself, i.e. God the Son
within the Holy Trinity.
Maybe you would ask,
we do without this added complication?” Isn’t just
believing in God enough?
Unfortunately the answer is “No!” on both counts, that is
want to be Christians.
Jesus himself – both in print within the Bible and alive
us – is
what makes our religion so different from its siblings (Judaism and
Islam). Jesus as God
incarnate, is a dimension that
there to fully demonstrate God’s absolute love of us and his saving grace, and
how we should best live in faith.
Primarily, it is easier for us to
accept that God
and God the Spirit (the
other two persons of the Holy
Trinity) are One.
Obviously, the concept of the
Son, within the Trinity,
is a bit harder to
understand and accept.
In this particular article I have tried to explain the reasons behind
accepted Christian convention that Jesus is God. Another article in
this section of the website, “The Word”
sheds more light on this issue as
well, highlighting Jesus as synonymous with the Logos (the creative
power of God).
Note that if you wish to better understand
Jesus from a historical point of view, please see the article, “Evidence
And most importantly, I recommend that you read the Lead Article of
this section of the website, “Christianity explained” where
all the supporting articles, such as this one, are
brought into context.
Summarising, essential beliefs held by the
are that Jesus is one of the three persons of the Trinity,
i.e. he is God
and yet he was also truly human when
here on Earth.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESIES
The way to begin understanding God’s purpose
in it all is to step back and look at the foundations that were laid in
Old Testament (the pre Jesus part of the Bible). There is no shortage of information, regarding Jesus, in
was a common topic of the psalmists and the prophets. They foretold his
(to a virgin), and that he would in fact be God:
Therefore the Lord
himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will give birth to a son,
will call him Immanuel.* (*Translates
or “God amongst us”)
The verse above was written six or seven
before Jesus was born. Other verses proclaimed that: he would bring
proclaim salvation to the whole world; he
would be rejected,
scorned and betrayed in his own day, and amazingly how he would
die. Consider the following statement
Old Testament Book of Psalms, written in the ‘first
person’. Again, it was written
hundreds of years, at a minimum, before Jesus’ birth. The timing
prevented the author from having knowledge of execution by crucifixion,
poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my
you lay me in the dust of death.
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my garments among them,
and cast lots for my clothing.
Indeed much was
written, well in advance, to set the scene for the life of Jesus.
NEW TESTAMENT STATEMENTS
All the Gospels of the New Testament make
mention of how
Jesus cured the sick, forgave sins and performed miracles in his own
right. That is,
he did not call upon ‘God’ to perform those events. The Gospels also made
this was not taken lightly by the religious elite of the day.
But for clarity on theological matters it is
look to the Gospel of John. And that Gospel makes it patently clear:
And the Word
flesh, and made his dwelling among us. [1:14].
And some quotes of Jesus’ own words in the Gospel of
and the Father
are one. [10:30]
know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in
I AM. [8:59]
John really made use of the term “I AM”
in his Gospel,
when quoting of Jesus.
Other examples can be found nearby, to the
above, in 8:24 and 8:28. ‘I
AM’ of course being the
name that God gave as his own to Moses [Exodus 3:14].
Fundamentally, it is obvious that the Gospels
to understand that Jesus is God incarnate. The letters of St Paul,
within the New Testament, also clarifies the divinity of Jesus,
e.g. when referring to Jesus: :
being in very nature God.
from secular writers, dated to the first and second
indicate that the early Christians did consider that Jesus was truly
WHY JESUS HAD TO BE GOD INCARNATE
now to get to the ‘nitty
gritty’. Why do the vast
Christian denominations insist that Jesus was the incarnation
of God? The answer lies in what God has done for us
through Jesus. And he could not have achieved it without the
between God and Jesus as depicted in the Bible, i.e. God was present on
Earth in the form of a human being! It was through the
Jesus that God firstly demonstrated his
absolute love for us,
and secondly gave us the way to enter into an ideal
4.1 Proof of
God’s Absolute Love for Us
According to the Christian Bible’s
New Testament (i.e. if we
do accept it
through faith) Jesus’ own sacrifice on the cross
has paid the price for the wrongdoings of each and everyone of us. That
is, we will be guaranteed of eternal life by virtue of that faith; we
are in fact ‘saved’ through faith. Explained in other words, Jesus has redeemed
sins, i.e. bought them back or recovered their cost for us.
Essentially, we are saved from
we believe it is so, and of course we accept Jesus as our Lord. What
a loving God personally do for his beloved children?
2000 years ago, God’s
directions to us were
being severely manipulated by the religious ‘experts’ of
the time. The laws provided
by God had been given seemingly endless extensions. Writing and interpreting religious law had
serious occupation. The
had become the focal point for many of the Jewish masses, rather than
also marketed and sold small creatures that could be sacrificed to
breaching religious laws. Sin had become big business! It was becoming
unnecessary, in that
God’s children to develop a loving and personal relationship with
So, as foretold in the Old Testament, the
timing was right at that point in
history and a
new covenant was created between God and us humans. It was based on
and sacrifice. Our side of the contract was to enter into a
relationship with him as our Lord; to accept that he became human to
us and for us. God placed himself on Earth, and experienced the
extremes of physical
emotional pain, to demonstrate that he was truly “God with
us” (the prophet
Isaiah’s “Immanuel”) and that he loves us absolutely.
This is the crux of Christianity!
4.2 Our Best
Link with God
As well as having his existence within the
Logos (The Word), Jesus
really was as much human in body and mind as we are. Christian theology then understands Jesus as
coupling, or link, to a fulfilling life of faith. It is
through this link that we can
become the humans that God always intended of us. The Bible asks us to
centre our lives on God, and Jesus is our prime example of how to
In him was life,
and that was the light of men. [John 1:4]
I know this article may well seem very ‘Bibley’
off-putting to the uninitiated, with all its quotes etc, but I meant to
make it clear that the Bible really does intend us to understand the
relationship between God and Jesus in that manner. I really
recommend that readers have a look at the Lead Article for this section
of the website, “Christianity explained”
to better understand how it all fits together.
I also recommend the section of
this website, titled, “Believing in God”
to you. It begins with an article of that name. That section tries to
explain how each of us can come to believe in God, by recognising his
presence within the Church and in our lives.